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Indiana Pacers: All Signs point to Tyrese Haliburton becoming a two-time All-Star
The Indiana Pacers entered the contest with a record of 3-2 after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, they fell back to .500 with a nail-biting loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
The Indiana Pacers entered the contest with a record of 3-2 after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in their first In-Season Tournament game. However, they fell back to .500 with a nail-biting loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
They are 3-3.
There were some bright spots for Indiana tonight, the main one being they could not miss from three. The problem was that conversely, they couldn’t get stops when they needed them. Not to mention tough calls by the officials in this game.
Brandon Miller tackled Aaron Nesmith but was ruled a common foul. Buddy Hield then had a chance to tie the game when down by one point and missed the shot. Small plays added up.
In the final seconds of play, Haliburton takes the ball up the court, and the Pacers have a chance for the last shot. Unfortunately, Indiana was never able to get a shot up, as the Hornets’ defense stood strong. Haliburton miss dribbled, and as time wound down, the ball was knocked far away from the nearest player.
While it is easy to complain that Tyrse Haliburton was unable to get a shot up to end the game, Indiana should not have been in that situation to begin with.
After the game, I asked Tyrese Haliburton if his objective was to get a three-off at the end of the game. His answer: the objective was to score.
My question was hoping to allude to his thought process within the final seconds of the game. It was simply put by him, and was a tough ending to an All-Star performance.
Later, I asked Rick Carlisle about Jalen Smith’s performance behind Myles Turner thus far:
“Jalen Smith has had a terrific year. He’s been active, he’s shooting the ball well, and making good reads. He is a big part of our second unit. He has earned the job pretty clearly. Overall he has done a lot of terrific things. I am really happy for him, he is a wonderful young man from a great family, and we root for all of our guys, but guys like him you definitely root for”.
Smith ended the game with 11 points and 9 rebounds. He has been fantastic in the backup role this season.
Pacers vs Hornets Game Recap by Quarter
Indiana started fast with a quick 10 points, but the Hornets were able to answer and responded with a run of their own. Myles Turner was solid again defensively, leading to transition points early for Indiana. Obi Toppin was the prime benefactor, scoring six points in the opening minutes. Turner has shot the ball well in the last few games and was able to continue that streak with an early three.
Toppin was able to catch a lob, which brought the energy from the crowd. Bennedict Mathurin was creating his shot, which has been an area of growth for him this season.
After one, the game was tied at 27 points a piece. The Pacer’s second unit was not able to provide a boost of offense, but they were able to keep the game manageable.
Q2 — Second Unit Holds Steady
TJ McConnell got some minutes in the period to let Haliburton rest. He was less efficient than usual, but consistency is tough without constant time on the court.
Jalen Smith continues to be solid in his backup minutes to Myles Turner. He had 5 points and five rebounds in the second quarter. His shooting helped space the floor, and he was active on the glass as well.
Tyrese Haliburton checked back into the game with around 7 minutes left. He scored his first game points with six minutes in the half. There has been a pattern of him starting slower over the past few games. However, he is still averaging nearly 20 points and 10-plus assists this season, so I think he’s been good.
Overall, the second quarter was one to forget—the Hornets led by as much as 13 points. Thankfully, Indiana was able to cut the deficit to eight points. There was work to be done…
Q3 — The Haliburton Quarter
Haliburton started the 3rd with a six threes. He was on fire and made multiple tough shots. The momentum shifted in Indiana’s favor as a result. When you have an All-Star on your roster, you need him to make big shots.
Fortunately, that is what Tyrese did. He ended the third with 25 points and six assists in that period alone. Haliburton was 8/11 from the field and was the momentum this team needed.
The three-point barrage continued with help from Turner, Buddy Hield, and Bruce Brown. Indiana traded the lead for most of the quarter but was able to pull away with a small lead to end it. In summary, Haliburton did what All-Stars do and hit big shots. He had nearly a 40-point double-double as the third quarter ended. Most impressive.
Q4 — So Close
The second unit, led by Buddy Hield, kept the Pacers in the game. Hield hit multiple threes, but there was one problem. Indiana could not get a stop. Each time they scored, it seemed the Hornets had an answer.
Buddy Hield was able to spark the momentum for Indiana after a brutal stretch. Hield hit a three to cut the Hornets lead to two points — four minutes left in the game.
Down to the wire, Indiana trailed by three with 30 seconds left. Buddy drove the lane and got fouled with a chance to tie the game. He missed the free throw, but Indiana got the ball back. However, the Pacers managed to turn it over. They needed one stop.
They were able to get it. The building was filled with energy. Haliburton brought the ball up the court and was stopped by Lamelo Ball. Indiana never got a shot up.
The Pacers lost 125-124.
Looking ahead to Indiana’s next matchup
The Pacers will take on the San Antonio Spurs on Monday. Rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama will visit Indiana for the first time in his career. This will be a tough matchup for the Pacers as the entire league learns how to deal with his raw talent. He scored 38 points (and 10 rebounds) the other night… against the Phoenix Suns.
The Pacers will look to get their fourth win of the season if all goes well. Top off starts at 7:00 PM EST.
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